Olympic Sports Could Head To Wembley

By M@ Last edited 103 months ago
Olympic Sports Could Head To Wembley


The dynamic tag team of Boris Johnson and Tessa Jowell are in agreement: let's move badminton and rhythmic gymnastics to Wembley Arena. Jowell has changed her stance in a compromise that sees Boris drop his opposition to holding shooting events at Woolwich. Badminton and gymnastics were originally set for a temporary structure known as North Greenwich Arena 2, south of the O2 dome (Arena 1, in case you were wondering, appears to be on the bottom of the Thames).

By decamping to Wembley, organisers will save around £20 million in construction and demolition costs. But the suggestion has ruffled a few shuttlecock feathers with sports federation Badminton England. They've dropped a cheeky one over the net by arguing the move could damage competitors' performances due to increased travel time from the Olympic Village. Does that really make much difference? Professional footballers routinely travel hundreds of miles to play a team that has only travelled a few metres. Here, all competitors would be on a level playing field and travelling for less than an hour. Seems a small sacrifice to save the nation £20 million and assuage the IOC, who last week complained about venue dithering. BJ and TJ will now attempt to convince the sports bodies and the British Olympic Association. Image by Beckywithasmile under creative commons license.

Last Updated 14 October 2009

diamond geezer

London won the 2012 Olympics partly by pledging that most athletes wouldn't have to travel very far from their accommodation in Stratford to their respective arenas. Moving the badminton and gymnastics out to Wembley, away from the party, reneges on part of that promise.

And all to save a mere £20 million. It sounds a lot, but it's only 32p per UK resident (or the equivalent of one pint of beer per Londoner).

Still, we don't care because they're only minor sports aren't they? And they're being inconvenienced to make a relatively tiny saving and score a political point.